EA Certification Study Guide Part 2: Dashboard Design

Kelsey Shannon
Apr 27, 2019 · 4 min read

The notes for this portion of the study guide are light because this part of the exam is mostly going to be scenario based questions around best practices. I recommend focusing on the Salesforce provided materials to make sure you understand the design standards that Salesforce suggests.

Source: Einstein Analytics Tech Lounge, 4/4/2019


  1. Trailhead Badges
    -*Analytics App Design
    -Quick Start: Einstein Analytics
    -Analytics Basics
    -Analytics Dashboard Building Basics
    -Analytics App Basics
    -Analytics App Template Development
  2. Learning Map
    -Build Interaction Dashboards Video Series
  3. Documentation in Exam Guide
    -Analytics Lookbook
    -*Best Practices for Building Your Own Analytics Dashboard
  4. Einstein Analytics Training Videos
    -Video 5 and 6: Designing Dashboards
    -Video 14: Analytics Apps
  5. External Resources
    -3 Ways to Go Above and Beyond with Analytics
    -Einstein Analytics vs. Operational Reporting — What’s the Difference?
    -Einstein Analytics: Design & Interaction Principles
    -Collection of articles on dashboard design (read through a couple that look interesting to you)

*If you are short on time, focus on these.


As always, I recommend you read/watch each of the sources and take your own notes. My summaries below are not inclusive of what will appear on the exam.

Gathering A Customer’s Dashboard Requirements

  • Make these decisions before building apps
    — Determine the app’s audience and purpose
    — Think through the app’s structure: what content are you going to show and how to organize it into a logical flow?
    — Choose the correct surface elements: signals/aesthetic choices/visual elements
  • How Salesforce suggests you gather requirements
    — Gather 4–8 stakeholders in a 60–90 min session and start by establishing the purpose of the dashboard: who is going to view it, what do they need
    — Have each participant sketch out one or more ideas for the dashboard then present to the group
    — As a group, discuss and sort the sketches then prioritize them based on relevance to the original dashboard purpose
    — Use the top ideas to start building out your dashboard — always sketch out a build plan before starting

UX Design and Einstein Best Practices

Designing the Dashboard

  • Design principles
    — Clarity: eliminate ambiguity from your dashboard
    — Efficiency: Streamline and optimize workflows
    — Consistency: Use the same names and similar graphic elements for similar data points
    — Beauty: Fluid experiences that feel natural
  • “Deep” Design Thinking
    — Surface level: Colors, fonts, graphics, etc.
    — Structure: Scope, layout, flow or the dashboard
    — Purpose: What is the user’s intentions and goals when using the dashboard
  • Structuring an App’s Content — Choose a focus
    — Priority: Some common dashboard formats are an F, Z, or side-by-side pattern. Suggestion of top left to bottom right in most cases
    — Logic: Take users through a logical flow
    — Level of granularity: Start with high-level details before getting specific
    — Similarity: Group like elements together
  • Design Best Practices
    — Place high level, actionable widgets near the top left
    — Group filters together at the top or left
    — Develop in a way that invites users to continually drill down
    — Choose chart types for function, not variety
    — Don’t clutter the dashboard, leave some empty space

Einstein Best Practices

  • Process for developing apps in Einstein
    — Start by loading data into datasets and ensure it is in a format that works well
    — Create a series of lenses and explorations
    — Save sets of these explorations into dashboards
    — Save sets of dashboards into an app
  • Building in Einstein
    — Use charts to visualize your data quickly and provide summaries and tables for a close up, detailed view
    — Utilize pages to allow users to digest content in chunks and create dynamic pathways through the dashboard
    — Embed the dashboards where the users work throughout Salesforce: home screen, Account page, Case details, etc.
    — Always optimize your dashboards for mobile
    — Make sure you turn on the action framework where possible
    — Use containers and colors to guide the user through the visuals
    — Make dashboards and layouts consistent

Using Template Apps

  • Use pre-built templates from Salesforce inside Einstein to speed up development.
    — Dashboard templates: Pre-built dashboard layouts to help with a quicker design. Simply place your lenses into the provided chart and table widgets. “Smart” templates provided will take you through a wizard to fill out the dashboard
    — App templates: Series of lenses and dashboards that are generated after going through a wizard inside Einstein.
  • How to iterate on a pre-built App template:
    — Install with the basic settings first and investigate what it does
    — Reinstall (“reconfigure” in the app details) it with custom settings
    — Get feedback from users and customize more on your team’s needs
    — Add and change functionality over time
  • Salesforce provide many different types of out-of-the-box templates for example: Sales, Service, Financial, Event Monitoring, Analytics Adoption etc.
    — Can also pre-package and build your own templated apps to distribute to customers

Next: Einstein Discovery

Kelsey Shannon

Written by

You can find me at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelseypshannon/ or https://twitter.com/kelseypshannon

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade